A group of Anaheim residents mounted a protest Sunday at the Anaheim Police Department’s headquarters demanding answers regarding a fatal shooting, as the city’s mayor called for an independent probe of the incident.
According to KNBC-TV, Mayor Tom Tait has asked the state’s Attorney General to investigate the case, following a violent confrontation between local police and residents following the killing of Manuel Diaz, who was shot in the back and the head Saturday afternoon while attempting to escape police.
“Transparency is essential,” Tait said Sunday. “The investigation will seek the truth. And whatever the truth is, we will own it.”
At a press conference, Anaheim Police Chief John Welter said two officers, including the one who shot Diaz, had been placed on paid leave. The Orange County Register is reporting that, according to Welter, the officers had approached Diaz and two other men, prompting them to run, with Diaz throwing “unidentified objects” onto nearby rooftops during the pursuit. It is not known what led to Diaz being shot. Welter said no weapons were found at the scene.
The already-tense situation was exacerbated, Welter said, that evening, when residents were riled up by a reputed gang member inciting violence against his officers, leading them to fire pellet bags and pepper balls into the crowd, which included women and children. In the midst of the turmoil, a police dog was seen on video attacking a woman and her child. Welter said the animal escaped from its police car.
“I again want to apologize for the police dog incident,” Welter said. “It’s embarrassing to us. The officer, I’m telling you, was just devastated.”
Hours after the protest at the department, KLEW-TV reported that local officers killed another man, who a police spokesman said fired on the officers while being chased. The man, who has not been identified, had been spotted in a stolen SUV by an anti-gang unit.
Watch The Orange County Register’s video on the protest regarding Manuel Diaz’s death, published July 22, below: